Maija Liisa Björklund
Maija Liisa Björklund works within installation, drawing, text, and performance. Her installation for “I Call It Art” was part of the “Kven Connection” project and originally shown in Vadsø and in Rovaniemi, Finland, in 2017–2018. The exhibition showcased art by five Norwegian and five Finnish artists seeking to explore Kven (i.e. Norwegian Finn) culture in today’s society.
Björklund’s installation is based on the new Kven flag that was adopted in 2017 and on the role that symbols such as the flag play in forging a common identity. The process of developing the flag took ten years, but the symbol it is based on, the sun rose (ruusuke), has existed for centuries, being for example used in carvings and other decorations.
“The work refers to the importance of visuality, tactility, and symbols in developing and manifesting identity and belonging,” the artist says. “It explores not only the process of creating the Kven flag, but also identity construction more universally.” MY